Apple announced it will implement requirements for iPhone and iPad apps that will seek explicit user approval before accessing users' address book data. The controversy manifested after a Singapore-based developer discovered mobile social network Path had been uploading his contacts' names and numbers to its servers.
Other iOS apps like Facebook, Twitter, foursquare, and Foodspotting have been discovered to similarly upload user data, sometimes without permission. "Apps that collect or transmit a user's contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines," an Apple spokesman told Reuters.
Legislators for the U.S. House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee Henry Waxman of California and G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina wrote a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook. In it, they ask for clarification on Apple's developer guidelines and the measures taken by the company to screen the apps it vends. The legislators have requested a response by Feb. 29.